Florida Senate - 2010                                    SB 2230
       By Senator Richter
       37-01205B-10                                          20102230__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public records; amending s.
    3         517.2015, F.S.; providing an exemption from public
    4         records requirements for examination techniques and
    5         procedures used by the Office of Financial Regulation
    6         pursuant to the Florida Securities and Investor
    7         Protection Act; providing for future review and repeal
    8         of the exemption; providing a statement of public
    9         necessity; providing an effective date.
   11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   13         Section 1. Subsection (4) is added to section 517.2015,
   14  Florida Statutes, to read:
   15         517.2015 Confidentiality of information relating to
   16  investigations and examinations.—
   17         (4)(a)Examination techniques and procedures used by the
   18  office pursuant to this chapter are confidential and exempt from
   19  s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
   20  Examination techniques and procedures are the methods,
   21  processes, and guidelines used to evaluate regulatory compliance
   22  and to collect and analyze data, documents, and testimony for
   23  the purpose of documenting violations of this chapter and the
   24  rules promulgated thereunder.
   25         (b)Paragraph (a) is subject to the Open Government Sunset
   26  Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed
   27  on October 2, 2015, unless reviewed and saved from repeal
   28  through reenactment by the Legislature.
   29         Section 2. (1)The Legislature finds that it is a public
   30  necessity that examination techniques and procedures used by the
   31  Office of Financial Regulation pursuant to chapter 517, Florida
   32  Statutes, the Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act, be
   33  made confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a),
   34  Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption is necessary to
   35  ensure the effective and efficient administration of the
   36  examination program administered by the Office of Financial
   37  Regulation under chapter 517, Florida Statutes, which would be
   38  significantly impaired without the exemption.
   39         (2)Examinations are an essential component of securities
   40  regulation. The mere existence of an examination program fosters
   41  regulatory compliance and deters fraud and abuse by industry
   42  participants. Examinations often detect violations in their
   43  early stages. This early detection allows corrective action to
   44  be taken before significant harm can be done to investors. Due
   45  to the importance of such examinations, state regulators devote
   46  extensive resources to devising effective examination techniques
   47  and procedures.
   48         (3)Revealing examination techniques or procedures would
   49  undermine the examination process and facilitate evasion of the
   50  law. Any advance notice of the areas of inquiry to be explored
   51  during an examination might prompt a person to conceal evidence
   52  of deficiencies or fabricate evidence of compliance. Without the
   53  exemption, the Office of Financial Regulation’s ability to
   54  uncover misconduct and evaluate policies and procedures through
   55  the examination process would be significantly impaired.
   56         (4)Additionally, without such an exemption the Office of
   57  Financial Regulation’s ability to participate in joint
   58  examinations with other securities regulators would be impaired
   59  as release of this information would compromise the integrity of
   60  such joint examinations. The office also would not be able to
   61  accept or use confidential examination techniques and procedures
   62  developed by other regulators. Thus, the absence of an exemption
   63  would create a situation that reduces the office’s ability to
   64  leverage its limited resources.
   65         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.